Facile fabrication of a polyethylene mesh for oil/water separation in a complex environment

Tianyi Zhao, Dongmei Zhang, Cunming Yu, Lei Jiang

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51 Citations (Scopus)


Low cost, eco-friendly, and easily scaled-up processes are needed to fabricate efficient oil/water separation materials, especially those useful in harsh environments such as highly acidic, alkaline, and salty environments, to deal with serious oil spills and industrial organic pollutants. Herein, a highly efficient oil/water separation mesh with durable chemical stability was fabricated by simply scratching and pricking a conventional polyethylene (PE) film. Multiscaled morphologies were obtained by this scratching and pricking process and provided the mesh with a special wettability performance termed superhydrophobicity, superoleophilicity, and low water adhesion, while the inert chemical properties of PE delivered chemical etching resistance to the fabricated mesh. In addition to a highly efficient oil/corrosive liquid separation, the fabricated PE mesh was also reusable and exhibited ultrafast oil/water separation solely by gravity. The easy operation, chemical durability, reusability, and efficiency of the novel PE mesh give it high potential for use in industrial and consumer applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24186-24191
Number of pages6
JournalACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Issue number36
Publication statusPublished - 14 Sep 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Complex environment
  • Durability
  • Oil/water separation
  • Recyclability
  • Superhydrophobicity

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